Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Job title, salary and position

If you are a potential expatriate planning to work in Saudi Arabia, the first thing you should remember is to forget your job title / designation you were holding in your current company in your home country. There are several instances of people who had occupied senior positions in their own countries who had been total failures after coming to the kingdom. The reason is not far to seek.
Human tendency is to resist change. People who have worked in good positions in their countries should never ever come to Saudi Arabia and expect the same level of perks / respect. Remember, you are coming to work here only for money - nothing more, nothing less! If you have contracted to work in a senior position, particularly in a government organization, then good luck to you because sooner or later, your position will be Saudized - i.e., you will be replaced by a Saudi national. If you have contracted to work in a very junior position, then you better be careful about the reputation of the company to escape being ill-treated. The bottom line is that if you are going to get paid fairly well and that your company is taking care of most of your expenses (for example, round trip tickets for you and your family, medical/dental and education expenses for your family, etc.), then there is a fairly high chance that you have landed in the right job.
In any case, your intention to come to Saudi Arabia for work should be only money. Do not expect people to treat you like a General Manager, just because you were a General Manager in your home country! It doesn't work here that way. The sooner you realize this, the longer is your stay in the kingdom. Every day you are here is a bonus, because you have come here to make tax-free money which was not there in your home country.
Of course, it doesn't mean that you have to crawl, but if you feel you can't take it any more, it is better to quitely move out rather than trying to fight for your rights - you dont have them anyway! Make your money and be ready to call it quits any day, because as the saying goes, the only thing certain in the Gulf is uncertainty!


Anonymous said...

Dear ExpatGuru,
How do foreigners go and work in such a country.
Sounds absolutely degrading...
I feel sorry for them.

Expatguru said...

Hello Anonymous,

Thanks for visiting my blog. I guess one has to make a balance in life of what one wants. Remember, a huge number of expats do work in Saudi Arabia, though a majority of them, particularly in the lower level, aren't paid or treated well.

The only common denominator among all the expats is the tax-free money. At the end of the day, it depends totally on what you want - if you need the money, then you would just have to compromise and stay put. If you cant take it any more, of course, you are always free to leave. So, it purely depends on individual requirement. Hope you understand.

Anonymous said...

thanks for blog..very informative!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear ExpatGuru,
i'm plumb, age 66yrs (the new 50). A working dental hygienist, married 23 yrs. will come alone. need to make $100,000.00 in 12 mths time. can i do this SAFELY in Saudi?
what company--ARAMCO??
what the currant wage??
this will be defaulted to my google recieving/account.

Expatguru said...


I too would like to make that kind of money, but I wish I knew the answer :)

Seriously, as a policy I do not comment about individual companies or wages as this is purely a personal decision varying from person to person. I would suggest you do a Google search where you can easily find what you are looking for.